Restaurant chain Prezzo, which has a branch in Southport, is to axe 22 restaurants and cut 216 jobs after it was rescued out of administration.
It’s not yet clear which restaurants will close, with branches located across the country.
Cain International, which only bought the chain in December, has bought it back from administration in a pre-pack deal to secure its future.
The owner said the action protects the vast majority of Prezzo’s 2,900 team members’ jobs.
Jonathan Goldstein, chief executive of Cain, said: “We firmly believe that strong hospitality businesses, such as Prezzo, have a bright future and will play an essential role in reviving the UK economy.
“However, to do so, we must get through this current crisis of mounting liabilities and no revenues.
“The lack of visibility on when and how the sector will reopen has heightened economic uncertainty to the point where decisive action had to be taken to secure the future of the business and the majority of jobs for Prezzo’s people.
“We are deeply sorry for all those affected by the permanent closure of the 22 non-viable restaurants.
“It was a difficult, but essential, decision to take but doing so will allow us to save thousands of jobs and create more in the future.”
All of the chain’s 178 restaurants are currently closed to customers in the face of the latest national coronavirus lockdown.
Prezzo’s restaurants had been able to operate for just 25 weeks out of the past 52 weeks but has seen fixed costs and rent accumulate, Cain International said.